Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis – B. Pharma 2nd Semester Pathophysiology notes pdf

Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis

Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis

Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis


At the end of this PDF Notes, student will be able to

       Define Atherosclerosis

       Identify the risk factors for atherosclerosis

       Describe the symptoms of atherosclerosis

       Explain the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis

       Explain arteriosclerosis

       Difference between arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis

       Describe the causes of it

       Briefly explain the risk factors

       Describe the treatment of it


       Atherosclerosis or atheroma

       Patchy focal disease of arterial wall

       Patchy thickening of the intimal layer of arterial wall

       Due to lipid deposition or fibrosis tissue formation


Major risk factors of Atherosclerosis


       Family history & genetics

       Racial risk – whites are at greater risk than

       Excess lipid deposition



       Diabetes mellitus

Minor risk factors of Atherosclerosis


       Lack of exercise

       Sedentary life style

       Use of oral contraceptives

       Alcohol consumption

       Stressful life

       Dietary factors

       Viral infection

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

Symptoms vary depending on the organ involved

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis


      Restricted blood supply to heart

      Angina & Myocardial infarction

      Shortness of breath






      Narrowing of arteries supplying brain

      Causes ischemic attacks

      Head ache

      Paralysis of one side of the body

      Numbness in various parts

      Visual disturbance


Symptoms of Atherosclerosis


      Dull pain is felt in the abdomen

      Due to blockage of arteries supplying intestine





      Narrowing of artery supplying leg

      Pain in the leg

      Hair loss in leg

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis

Endothelial injury

       Atherosclerosis is initiated by injury of endothelium

       In large & medium size arteries

       Causes include smoking


       Chronic hyperlipidemia

Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis
Endothelial injury

Internal smooth muscle cell proliferation

       Subsequent to endothelial injury

       Following disruption of endothelial layer

       Smooth muscle cell of blood vessels

       Cells of endothelium

       Proliferate under influence of – PGDF, EDGF, TGF β

       More synthesis of matrix protein

Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis
Internal smooth muscle cell proliferation

Lipoprotein entry into the intima

       LDL from blood enters intima & get oxidized

       Oxidized LDL attracts monocytes

       Activates monocytes to macrophages

       Combination of oxidized LDL & macrophages  – Lipid laden foam cells

       Major factor contributing to plaque formation

Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis
Lipoprotein entry into intima

Mechanisms involved in the formation of Foam cells

Mechanisms involved in the formation of Foam cells


       Atherosclerosis or atheroma is a patchy focal disease of arterial wall

       Patchy thickening of the intimal layer of arterial wall due to lipid deposition or fibrosis tissue formation

       The main mechanism involved in the development of atheroma is endothelial injury

       Endothelial injury is followed by proliferation and formation of foam cells


       Arteriosclerosis refers to the thickening and hardening of the medium or large arteries.

        Atherosclerosis is a form of arteriosclerosis in which cholesterol deposits line the inner wall of the artery.

       Arteriosclerotic plaque is a build-up of calcium on the inside of the artery walls. Both terms tend to be used interchangeably to describe the clogging and hardening of the arteries.

       Arteriosclerosis occurs either as a result of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or both.

       High blood pressure can cause the arteries to become stiff and thick, which restricts blood flow throughout the body.

        High cholesterol can cause an excessive build-up of plaque inside the arteries that significantly restrict blood flow.

       Arteriosclerosis most commonly occurs in the arteries of the heart, but it can affect any arteries within the body.

Factors that cause arteriosclerosis

Factors that cause arteriosclerosis

Risk factors of Arteriosclerosis





        diet high in saturated fat & low in healthy fruits, vegetables

Risk factors of Arteriosclerosis

Risk factors of Arteriosclerosis

Treatment of Arteriosclerosis

       Lifestyle Modifications-In the early stages of arteriosclerosis, lifestyle modifications include eating a diet low in cholesterol and salt.

       A healthy diet, along with getting regular exercise, might help slow and possibly even stop the progression of the disease.

        smokers should stop in order to prevent further artery damage.

        Medications– Medications, including those for blood pressure and high cholesterol, may be used to control conditions that have contributed to the development of arteriosclerosis.

       aspirin and anticoagulants 

       Bypass Surgery– using a blood vessel from another part of the body or a synthetic tube to completely bypass the damaged artery.

Signs of Arteriosclerosis

       A decreased pulse in a narrowed artery

        Decreased blood pressure in a limb

        A bulge in the abdomen or behind the knee

       High blood pressure

        Kidney infection

       Shortness of breath


       Neurological Symptom-Arteriosclerosis may affect the arteries that supply the brain.


       Arteriosclerosis refers to the thickening and hardening of the medium or large arteries

       artery walls become calcified or hardened which results in a loss of flexibility and elasticity

       Arteriosclerosis is a disease process that occurs gradually over time, and although the hardening of the heart’s arteries receives most attention, arteriosclerosis can happen anywhere along the miles of these blood vessels in your body

       Avoid smoking as this can increase the risk of complications such as stroke and heart attack


1. Is arteriosclerosis the same as atherosclerosis?

No, arteriosclerosis is a broader term that includes atherosclerosis as one of its types. Arteriosclerosis refers to the hardening and thickening of arteries, while atherosclerosis specifically involves plaque buildup.

2. What role does genetics play in atherosclerosis?

Genetics can influence how your body processes fats and cholesterol, impacting your risk of atherosclerosis. If you have a family history of the condition, you may be more susceptible.

3. Can atherosclerosis be reversed?

Atherosclerosis can be managed and its progression slowed through lifestyle changes, medications, and medical procedures. However, it is typically not fully reversible.

4. What are the long-term complications of atherosclerosis?

Long-term complications may include heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and kidney problems.

5. How can I reduce my risk of atherosclerosis?

You can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and managing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential for early detection and prevention.

6. What are the primary treatment options for atherosclerosis?

The treatment of atherosclerosis typically involves lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation. Medications, such as statins, antiplatelet drugs, and blood pressure medications, may also be prescribed. In some cases, medical procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery are necessary.

7. Can atherosclerosis lead to heart attacks and strokes?

Yes, atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. When the plaque in the arteries ruptures, it can trigger blood clots that block blood flow to the heart or brain, resulting in these life-threatening events.

8. Is atherosclerosis preventable?

While certain risk factors like age and genetics are beyond your control, many aspects of atherosclerosis are preventable. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing your weight, eating a balanced diet, and controlling conditions like hypertension and diabetes, you can significantly reduce your risk.

9. How is atherosclerosis diagnosed?

Atherosclerosis is diagnosed through various tests, including cholesterol blood tests, ultrasound, angiography, and coronary calcium scans. Your healthcare provider will assess your risk factors and recommend the most appropriate diagnostic tests.

10. What are the dietary recommendations for preventing atherosclerosis?

To prevent atherosclerosis, it’s essential to maintain a heart-healthy diet. This includes reducing saturated and trans fats, increasing fiber intake, and consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also crucial to limit salt and sugar intake and watch portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight.

Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis – B. Pharma 2nd Semester Pathophysiology notes pdf

Leave a Comment